China’s growth-slowing actions chill markets

THURSDAY, JAN. 21, 2010

BEIJING – China, the primary engine leading the global economy out of recession, is starting to put the brakes on its fast-growing economy – and the rest of the world is watching closely.

Chinese regulators reportedly ordered some banks Wednesday to reduce their lending, the latest in a series of steps the government is taking to tighten credit and stave off the sort of asset bubble that felled the U.S. housing and credit markets.

The move was expected, but nonetheless sent a shudder through global financial markets on fear that any moderation in China’s expansion could stymie the global rebound and weigh on slow-growing countries such as the United States.

The Dow Jones industrial average skidded more than 200 points early Wednesday before partially recovering to finish down 122 points.

China’s economy remains robust and will still fuel the global rebound, experts said.

Figures released early today in Beijing showed the country’s economy grew 10.7 percent in the last three months of 2009 from the fourth quarter of 2008.

Click here to comment on this story »